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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    November 20, 2012
    5:00 - 8:00pm EST  

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people would talk to one another rather than engage in an artificial site, which is what most cable television news. >> you take someone like rachel mondo. >> i was about to make a point. she is a very smart woman. ..
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me for a minute. i just want to take a minute to remind our radio and television audiences that this is the kalb report. our guest today is ted koppel. ted, you describe to the good old days of journalism. i love this phrase as am on imperfect, untidy of journalism. you then went on to say that these days broadcast news has been outflanked, overtaken by scores of other media options. helpless understand the need for
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these changes they not only affect the quality of the network most by the way do you agree with me that it is in a twilight zone of? >> twilight is usually followed by night and then the done usually follows night. so i am still hopeful. [laughter] i'm still hopeful. you know it's not going to stay this way forever. what tends to happen in this country is you and i have observed the last 50 or 60 years politically. we tend to go too far to the right, and then we correct the course and passed through the middle and go too far to the left and then we correct the course again. i think what's happened to broadcast journalism requires a course correction. and as we come to realize that
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our educational system is not as good as we like to believe, that our health care system is not as good as we like to believe, that we are spending -- there are so many things that are on the brink of taking us on the disaster not the least of them being the possibility of cyber warfare. that's something that television news ought to be covering big time right now. i am tremendously concerned by the fact that the american public and its military have never been as far apart as they are right now. a terrific job of covering everyone in uniform and hero. we did a terrific job of welcoming them at airports saying thank you for your service. we know nothing about what's
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going on in the military and for what's more, the military operations these days are being launched on the basis of drone attacks, cia operatives, special operations forces out in the field, and all of that backed by civilian employees, civilian contractors, and we know next to nothing that is brought by these. islamic because the reporting is not being done? >> it's because we found that keeping the american public won't stand for a draft and the professional military wasn't enough to fight all over the world else we are now -- we've been focused on afghanistan we actually believe that all of the troops are coming back from afghanistan.
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it happens a year from now, two years from now, five years from now. where is the press? obviously these are not issues the people that run the news programs today because they don't draw an audience. what draws an audience is charlie sheen and people yelling at each other. it is not enough to say these issues are important. we actually -- i know it solves totally idealistic but when you and i became journalists as young men, we believe that we were entering into a special chosen profession that meant something to the democracy. the calling, exactly. when you got into it and i got
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into it i was tremendously the the cut tremendously fortunate and ended it later on. word of honor. i never thought i was going to get rich as a journalist. it didn't grow old in journalism, you don't go into journalism to become wealthy. the changes that we are talking about you already touched on this, the effect it has on our business and our society itself, on journalism itself, the value systems changed. i'm not saying we can never return to the good old days. that's done. but what worries me is whether we can take the value systems of the old and try to see them preserved in the digital environment of today. do you think that is possible?
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>> i not only thing it is possible -- you and i are in a sense we need a fair person here half-hour age telling us what is being accomplished in the digital arena. >> what do you think is being accomplished? >> i think that there are people who are doing what was the word i told you before we are both having a senior moment -- what the word i'm looking for? people who in effect will get all of the blog sites -- curators. thank you. [laughter] there are curators today who because there are so many hundreds, so many thousands of web sites make it a point of
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saying look if you really want to know what is good in the area, what is interesting in the area of the foreign policy or let's say the persian gulf or let's say the environment or let's say cyber warfare, we can leave you in the right direction, and the technology is there so that you and i can gather material, gather information in a fashion that is infinitely easier than the one we used to use 40 years ago, 50 years ago. we can sit at our laptop and harvest disinformation. >> with the reporting you have a ton of information these curators can provide any amount of information, how reliable is the information? is it based upon actual reporting? >> two key points have to be made. there is a brilliant material that is being well reported according to the standards if
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you and i worked. >> how do you know that? >> because i have been told. [laughter] >> on the other hand, the implication of your question is absolutely correct. we don't know often when something comes across on the internet we have no way of knowing what its provenance is, we have no way of knowing what the intention, with the goal is of the people that are putting that out there. and i will tell you something i learned the other day from one of these talks. it had nothing to do with me. these ted talks. [laughter] it was on the subject of google, and the speaker was making the point that he is what would be called progressive and he said a friend of his who is the very conservative took their respective laptop computers and
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they simply type in to the search engine the word egypt and they got a totally different responses. why? because there is a process going on every time that we search for something on our laptop we are not only gathering information, we are giving information about what we buy about what we find interesting, about what we like it, perhaps with our political biases may be said that in theory a search engine would be giving me objective information and you and i ought to get the same information if we tied in the same word, not so anymore. that's kind of scary. >> because somebody is making up in their mind as to what it is that we want.
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>> it is a series. it is the computer. what is the word i'm looking for all or a -- algorithm. thank you. >> algorithm is fine, and by understand that it exists, and i respect and i will salute it. it's there. but i want to know what all of that has to do with journalism. who gets up in the morning and covers something? who is going to go out and cover the war? who is going to cover the campaign? without the journalist being there doing the abc information gathering, honest information gathering, all of this other stuff is bologna. islamic there are going to be plenty of people that are going to be doing the gathering that the key word --
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>> what the internet. in the coverage of the war today there were fewer reporters covering the war in afghanistan now than there's ever been. when you went in -- >> you're american reporters. >> and others as well. >> i frequently in the evening will watch the bbc because particularly when things are going on in the middle east, i am going to learn more from the folks out there that actually speak out and know the area. >> do we know that they are reporters? we know they speak arabic. >> we know that they are reporters. do we know that their objective reporter squawks that is a different question. >> do we know that? >> we don't. >> we almost given up on objective reporters in our own country. >> that's my question. >> it is still possible coming in you and i do it every day to take up "the new york times," to
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pick up the wall street journal, to watch the news hour. the outlets, are there. we have to look -- our old friend jim lehrer used to say we are the program that bares to be dole and i once said sometimes, my friend, i think you are a little too daring. [laughter] but it's in their. there is still good journalism being committed to read the good journalists can't help it if the public and drove this seems to be moving in other directions. i am simply making the point, and i don't know if i am pushing for this to happen because as i say, i think it will only happen when people realize how devastating the consequences are of not having objective journalists out there. >> do you know clark kent?
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>> know him well. we have on occasion used the same phone number. [laughter] >> clark kent is no longer their reporter. islamic what does he do now? >> he is a blocker. [laughter] >> where does he change? [laughter] >> probably in the curators kitchen. [laughter] >> someplace like that. >> but that is an indication to me of how profoundly different the journalism of years ago through today. i am not saying that there isn't journalism today. i'm saying that it's so much more difficult to find. and it's the areas that you will go after to try to find it or not terribly reliable. and i would like to think about sort of the north star of journalism today.
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when you started you had somebody like adc who did extraordinary things at that network including nightline. with me it was ed murrow and a lot of other people at cbs. but who are the four ledges and murrow's of today? >> when he came on he had been the president of abc sports and we at abc news were terrified of the sky that came in wearing his jongh will sood and his golden bracelets and he was not one of the champions of great journalism. he became bad.
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he involved in some large measure because he ran against an immovable objects like howard k. smith and frank reynolds. and people who still believed the good journalism was important. he recognized but i will tell you the back story. for about a year before the iran hostage crisis, more knowledge came to us and any time summoning of major importance happens i want to relate night special on that. ten minutes, 15 minutes. i don't care. he initially wanted to get a one-hour newscast at 6:30. the affiliated stations would not belong by the time we got to
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the iran hostage crisis after about the 15, 16th, 17th day we were running out of time to stay and he said to us i don't care. tell me with the difference is between a city in the shiite. tommy and of the shawl and how we came to power. i don't care what. there was a tremendous american appetite for this story. it had not been for that appetite, a lifeline would have never been bought. >> and also you were at abc which didn't have a very important program in that time slot. they didn't have the tonight show for example. >> one of the things that has changed enormously when march
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began 90 on cbs they would rerun some trauma but among the free programs, the tonight show, the trauma and nightline we had a 70% of all of the homes watching television at 11:30, 70%. these days the tonight show, nightline and the letterman show are lucky to have 25%. that's what's happened because when you didn't have to be five years ago was cable, satellite, the internet and all of those things have diluted the importance and the reach of the network. >> semidey twilight is too soft to work. [laughter] know because you still have even though it is only 25% the
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evening newscast for example. among the three of them i suspect they still had between 15 to 20 million viewers. >> 20, 25 million to be a >> when you and i were voting from the state department it was 40 million, 50 million. i think cronkite alone probably had about 20 million people. that certainly is true. >> the responsibilities of journalism to democracy and to our society i want you to talk about a lot more. i want you to explain to me why there is this connection between the flow of news and a vibrant society.
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>> if the american public were voting is ignorant of the issues, is on informed how can make intelligent decisions about who to pick? it's bad enough that the citizens united decision of the supreme court has now resulted in i think "the new york times" the other day it said the amount of money there was spent on all of the election campaigns, $6 billion. i was shocked by that. i moderated a discussion the other morning between coralville and james carville. [laughter] it was actually fascinating but they made the point that we spend infinitely more than that on dog food.
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>> that is as absurd. >> yes, it is. >> because much as i have always loved our pets and in general, the fact of the matter is if our elections and up being reduced hipaa to the snarling and shouting and innuendo people keep saying things were much worse in jefferson's time. yes, they were. but you only had broad sheets that were being distributed. you didn't have everyone walking around with his or her own liberal communications device. information now is spread so ubiquitous lee come spread so quickly, so instantaneously if we don't have reliable, trustworthy objectives sources of information, then our whole electoral structure is doing to
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become going to collapse on its own weight. >> there was that cnn story during that all of hurricane about how the new york stock exchange was under 3 feet of water. of course it wasn't true. it wasn't true at all. cnn got that story not from one of its reporters. cnn got the story from an on-line message board on the national weather service website so they got a line 3 feet of water and they put it out. i don't want it on cnn because it could have been done by somebody else, too but that to me is one of the dangers in trying to maintain the best standard, some practice, some place where you can turn and say this is the right way of doing
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things and this is simply wrong and i have the impression these days despite all of the good things that you have said about all of the curators and whatever. all of that stuff being said, ibm left with an uneasy feeling. i don't know where all of the information is coming from. i don't have a feeling that remember years ago when we knew every camera man taking pictures of some big a dent in cairo? we knew he was taking that picture, and you knew that it was an objective look at was happening at that time. i don't have any feel for that at all today. i don't know who is taking the pictures or that they are even working for a network.
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number one, notice the number of times if you watch more than one newscast. notice the number of times that you will see precisely the same video. when it comes from overseas in large measure because the networks don't have their own reporters and camera people over there any more and they have bought it from the same single source. what is wrong after all with having a local reporter covering the event? she knows the people. let's say that local reporter is reporting from tehran and that local reporter knows that if he or she makes a nice step in what he or she reports they are going to be arrested and thrown in jail. that is probably the worst thing
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that is going to happen. finally, i find that there is absolutely no willingness on the part of the critics to believe that object to the team journalism as possible and i keep hearing there is no such thing as object to the deep to which i say when you go to hire a lawyer, do you ask about lawyer tell me, do you like me? do you really, really like me? because if you don't like me coming you're not going to be able to put your heart into this thing. you expect that lawyer to act as a professional. when you go to see a doctor elon of asking that doctor with his or her politics are. you simply want that doctor to be with you on the basis of her best professional expertise. and whether or not our critics want to believe it. i argued and i think that you agree with me there really was
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at this time and will today remain men and women who can be professional journalists capable of object to the. that doesn't mean that they don't go home at night and rule against the darkness. it doesn't mean that they don't have favorites in an election that it does mean that to stay you know my life for many years. she doesn't know how i vote in an election. i don't tell her. i don't think it's appropriate. >> and you're still married? [laughter] seven necklet me put it this way. she knows everything else about me. i think she can figure it out but i would never tell her. >> that's so interesting. what does that say, what does that really indicate cracks
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stila i have believed since i was a young reporter my opinions have no place in the reporting i'm going to do. islamic but when you talk to somebody like bill o'reilly, for example, who was my student many years ago, and i should have warned him. [laughter] bill believes profoundly, deeply, that you are the left. why? because you worked at abc. definitely of the left because that was at cbs. i would say to them if you have a clue how i voted every latinos. and that attitude has been accepted as a kind of truth by so many people. >> and until we are prepared to accept the principle that object
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to the war at least a genuine effort is possible the late great patrick moynihan used to say everyone is entitled to his own opinion, not his own facts. these days we turn that on its head. these days we believe that everyone is indeed entitled to his own. you want right wing facts, we have the plant that will put it out for you. >> how can we make it clear to people that if they watch, for example, nbc nightly news or the cbs evening news, there is a basic impulse on the part of the anchor and the reporters to tell it straight. but cable is where you are getting the opinion.
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this is your getting the opinion also on the networks so everybody is running around in a circle pointing fingers of everybody saying you are not admitting it. estimate it isn't so much a matter of the bias that the networks. the problem is they simply are not putting the money into the kind of news coverage that is vital to democracy. the money would help in that for one thing you would open up when has the world ever been in your experience and more dangerous place than it is right now? i happen to believe it's the worst times in the cold war. we are the brink of nuclear war with the cuban missile crisis the the fact of the matter there was a balance between the great. these days we need information
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from the third world more than we ever needed it before. we don't have the reporters out there. >> that's absolutely true. i'm sorry to say at this particular time that we have run out of time which is the relentless clock as relentless for older reporters to pay more respect for people like us. but anyway i want to thank the wonderful audience for being so polite and nice and being with us tonight. they've been able to see us in this magic of the internet. if they turn on right now they can actually see us not just on cable but they can see us through the internet all over the world. it's a magnificent thing. i want to think the guest for sharing his time and thoughts with us. [applause]
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>> let me close with the following thought. we are all dazzled by the digital age and understandably so. the speed, the access, everything lies. it's truly amazing that every now and then i worry that we may be losing sight of the fact that this new technology is only a tool. it's a tool for the dissemination what we as journalists have discovered. it can never be considered more important than the content of what we have discovered. our daily broadcasts, the stories that need telling. a crime or misdeed or misjudgment that means exploring. i look out and i ask you all are there any new edward merlis in this audience? we need you now more than ever
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to help sustain our democracy. a good, honest, bold, and then trade, even the in the officious of regis journalism is essential to democracy. she once said this is no time for fear, and he was right. so they rise up. ted and i have done the best we can. now it is your term. use these modern tools that use them well because otherwise it's all just lights and lawyers and a box. that's it for now. i'm marvin kalb and a good night and could block. [applause] you've been warned of this is
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your time to ask questions. there are two microphones. on c1 over there and one over here. if you get up to ask a question that's fine. please identify yourself. the end of the idea is to ask a question. don't make a speech because i will cut you off. i will be very nasty. why don't we start on the right. please, go ahead. >> can you assess the coverage of the israeli-palestinian conflict and is the war of the hires and africa, asia any less important because they don't get coverage? >> let me take the second half of that question first. there has been a war going on in
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congo for well over ten years now. it has cost more than 5 million lives. 5 million people who died of starvation, disease, have been driven into the jungle. people at been killed and are fighting more than 5 million people barely covered. we've barely even noticed. i mention that because journalism like foreign policy is affected by national interest. to the degree that there is a perception that would defeat to what happens is less important in the united states we don't cover. we are infinitely more engaged right now but the coverage of what's happening in syria isn't
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bad but i don't know that it showed a great deal of light, and part of the problem is even though he were asking about -- i know you began by asking about what is happening, and what i think of the coverage of that today. any time israel is involved in the story it becomes an increase do it excruciatingly difficult story for american journalists to cover because there is for the most part a natural sympathy in this country. a sense of identity in this country and many reporters both friends and colleagues of mine, the late peter jennings used to road defeat to write and be criticized for taking an
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anti-israeli point of view not so much that he had spent many years living in the arab world and had a sympathetic point of view to arabs. i fink what is happening in gaza means almost any definition of tragedy. they cannot be expected on the one hand to stand by while their cities are rocketed. on the other hand, the great irony of the paradox of that story is because the israeli defense forces are infinitely more professional than the hamas fighters. the number of casualties on the palestinian side are always going to be much greater thereby leaving an impression that there is somehow something unfolded
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about the war. this is precisely the time when you need the correspondence that have spent the years in the region because by and large you ask me what i think of the coverage i think it's surfaced. it focuses on the obvious. you don't hear much about the underlying causes or with the underlining possiblities made before the agreement between the two sides. i think that is one of the things that we have lost not having resident correspondents who report year after year after year. >> it's interesting just an additional point that a couple of nights ago abc world news tonight happened to be there doing another story when the story erupted and the anchor
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diane sawyer turned to her with a big introduction to we have her there she is going to give the inside story but then they gave her about 45 seconds to do the inside story, and you could see her. she really couldn't get it out. it was very difficult so there was yet another dimension of trying to make everything bite sized even an analysis by a reporter who does know and understand that story it would have been wonderful to hear more from him. >> good morning with talk radio service. you mentioned an interesting point before you were cut off about our -- >> he does not all the time. [laughter] >> there was a moment when you were talking about how our intelligence services where the
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be stretched too thin but you were intimating that may be because we were not only having a lack of journalists in different parts of the world but also. you said something and i thought i could give you a moment to expand on that but how the american public tends to trust the demagoguery, the left and right. >> the question is can you elaborate on that point? >> the point i was going to make is essentially a of the same thing is happening within the intelligence community and as it is happening in the television news community and that is the perception that technology is an adequate replacement for human intelligence.
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there's the perception in television news that you are going to use the satellite and a jet plane and get somebody from anywhere. how in the united states you can reach any part of the world in 18 hours or less. by virtue of the satellite you can report instantaneously but that doesn't substitute for having a reporter that's been on the ground. for years the same thing is true for the same reasons and that the intelligence community is also suffering budgetary cuts and people were told look we can get the same kind of information with satellite reconnaissance and technology in other words when having a human agent on the ground gives you a third dimension you cannot get from that technology alone.
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>> i'm a retired foreign service officer. i began my or people still lambert edward murrow. i still remember after afghanistan as the department officer with a press officer who never worked with the press. i'm wondering if those of you in networks of unnoticed it went away and do you think there was part of the weakening of the ability to report stories with great object to the. >> we became friends. i've been blessed throughout my
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television career having them as competitors. as you may imagine you don't travel with people from your own network, you trouble with the opposition. i was blessed having these men. during the years we traveled together, henry kissinger in the least, we always had. on the plane i remember a woman. she wasn't the one be laboring with questions she wrote a clean copy and she was a very good
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reporter. and i think -- you know, i hadn't been the diplomatic correspondent in many years why don't truffle. but you won't have anyone from the old age traveling with the secretary anymore. >> i want to share something with you all. being when we travel around the end network in those years i have a very bad back condition and when we arrived somewhere we would have a typewriter and the vigor stuff went on the plane. they were picked up by typewriter.
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alana elma hoping you could talk more about what you define as objectivity. is it moderating the political sides and where does your analysis commissioned? it was easy how you would have covered that. the story of global warming when most of the community seems to be solid on one side but it's a politicized issue does that dictate that you are saying you are going to maintain both sides or are you the most credible people in the discussion? >> you are looking at a man i was for almost 26 years both the anchor and the managing editor of nightline to the degree that
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one side or the other can be ascertained as having desalts on its side the had an obligation to report that. i don't think there is an obligation to say that on the one hand, you know, they believe that an apple will fall from the tree and simply there's an idiot out there that claims apples floated. object to the doesn't mean taking one for the site and that side, and presenting both for the audience to select. your job as a journalist is precisely to go out to do the reporting and then as i said earlier on to analyze it and separate and put it into its proper context and the
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overwhelming scientific community or if the scientific community overwhelmingly says there is global warming do you give the direction of some of the intelligent fais? yes, why not. but you certainly don't do it on the basis of equal time. >> when the pressure was first directed at the network to be defective and fair what they would do as you remember is the would put a republican of for 30 seconds and a democrat for 30 seconds and then they would make an objective and they felt that they were telling the story but they never got at the essence of the objective of the as i think you're not so well described it tonight. yes, please. >> - catherine and i imagine your journalism major at gw.
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my question is in this highly political climate we've noticed several instances where major news networks rushed for headlines that turned out to be wrong like with wolf pulitzer and the obamacare supreme court rulings. in our profession how do we balance accuracy with the desire to be the first to break the news? >> terrific question. thank you. estimate - lecturing quite literally for 25 years or more about this desperate struggle to be first with the obvious which i think is often the sort of driving engine particularly of 247 cable news. somehow, as this goes back to the days when there were just the networks. when a major story broke i still
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remember moments of huge self congratulations at abc and insurance was the same at nbc we have the story one minute and 38 seconds before cbs and i remember saying at the time when i was a very young journalist of the time i didn't know of anybody out there in the american public who is sitting there as we were sitting in our newsrooms with a bag of ten television monitors aware of the fact that cbs got its second and we were third. if you were at home watching television or you switching not the deutsch and the channels? of was that 25 years ago is absolutely horrendous today. if i'm watching cnn and if i
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think they're doing a fairly decent job of covering the story i am not constantly flipping back and again that may be generational. i have teenage grandsons who seem incapable of watching anything for more than eight seconds at a time without switching to another channel. did i answer your question? [laughter] >> not really. but it's good. [laughter] >> was a very good question. there's one more here and there could be the last one because we are out of time but i want to apologize to everybody else that is waiting to ask a question. i'm sorry but when this is all over why don't you besiege mr. koppel. >> and beat the crap out him. [laughter] >> thanks for taking my question. i'm a graduate student in multimedia journalism at the university of maryland and also
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have an on-line news site cool news talking about water that is considered to be dole and the boarding and it's in a way that is sexy and engaging. it's been against your question please. >> to get the information of and throughout the evening it seems like we've been given this trace of charlie sheen reporting perhaps less soulful and significant and important significant news that affects our lives prevents it in the way that it's built and when we have so many tools at our disposal why do we need to think about important news as things that can't be cool and engaging and fun and even possible? >> you may be surprised to learn i do not entirely disagree with
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you. for many years of night when i used to tell the staff there is no story out there that we cannot do in an engaging and interesting way. i think you made the mistake of interpreting what marvin and body have been saying when we refer to important that important means even in our mind dole. on the contrary a think the most interesting things in the world are precisely those things that are most important, and i think it is our obligation as journalists not merely to say who are the facts do with them as you well. but to put those facts in and perhaps i should have added the adjective interesting context we have to make the news interesting or we can't expect anybody to watch.
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but if interesting means controversial, it's interesting means argumentative, it's interesting means sacrificing object to the, that i guess you are right and in that case i'm doomed to be seen as dole. >> i don't think you ever have been. >> thank you very much and all of you for being here. it's a terrific evening. it's great to see you. >> on the situation in the middle east. among his comments the official recognition for the syrian opposition forces. here is a look. transion >> however what we need is aand political transition to the new and a legitimate leadership that reflects the will of the people and can end the violence and
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begin to rebuild the country with regional and internationalf support.er on, the 11th of november there was a major breakthrough with the establishment of theian national coalition of the revolution opposition forces which has been welcomed by manye last friday i met the presidenti and to ofon the vice presidentsf the national coalition on their first visit to europe.m i felt assurances from them in i three areas. first i urge them to commit themselves to developing the political structure to their support among all sections ofoll uce society and with the str detailed political transition ed plan for syria.e next fnds second i encourage them to use the next meeting which we hope will be heheld in morocco next month stressed their determination to build on the
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doha agreement and to leave the door open for other opposition groups to join them. to be a moderate political force committed to democracy and not to repeat the abuses of the assad regime. they told me that their priority was protecting the civilian population against attack and focusing on achieving a political transition. it would be for the people of syria, they told me, to approve a future government, these are important and encouraging statements by the national coalition. they have much to do to win the full support of the syrian people and to coordinate opposition efforts more effectively, but it is strongly in the interests of sur yarks of the -- syria and of the united kingdom that we support them. on the basis of the assurances i received and my consultations with european partners yesterday, her majesty's government has decided to recognize the national coalition of syrian revolution and opposition forces as the sole legitimate representative of the syrian people.
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as the president of the national coalition said to me on friday, recognition imposes responsibilities on the coalition, and we will continue to p many people that might take issue with him saving the union during the civil war. it didn't plan can do that? well, yeah, he did and i am not going to say grant was the only person who saved the union, but he was the commanding general of the army that put lamken's policy into effect. and he was the general that accepted the surrender of the army of northern virginia under robert e. lee that ended the
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war. so, if anybody won the war on the battlefield, if you could say that any one person did come and of course you can't, but one of the things we do in history as we generalize. we simplified because history reality is simply too complicated to get our head of around if we deal with it in its full complexity. as a comer grant saved the union during the civil war. and i do contend that he saved the union during the reconstruction as well.
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republican senator michael lee and ted cruz spoke at a convention hosted by the federalist society in washington, d.c.. the remarks said justice roberts decision on the health care law was a sharp aberration to establish early in his career. after senator lee, senator cruz from texas discusses the election results. this is about one hour. >> i serve as the executive vice president of the federalist society. we hope that you are all having a great time here at our 30th anniversary convention. it's hard to believe that this
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is the third occasion i think on which -- at which we are welcoming united states senator mike lee to the it seems like yesterday, senator, when you came to us just after your election in 2010 presenting your vision of the system of limited constitutional government. i remember you describing with a sense of hope and of those the house some the desired use all among the people on the campaign trail for the return to the komen principles. i suspect those principles do not resonate out quite the same pitch in the hallways of the senate as they did among the people on the campaign trail. nevertheless, it is apparent from his work and his efforts senator lee is the irrepressible in the midst of consideration of legislation as well as participation and oversight and the confirmation process, senator lee has harkened back to the basic constitutional
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principles and restrict for the constitution more than i can remember any other senator doing. is this having an impact? well, the senate by design as a place where things move very slowly so more time will be needed to determine whether he is helping to pave the way for a lasting cultural shift in congress. but i think we do know this. more individuals have been inspired to run for public office because of senator lee's work because they want the strength and respect of the original constitution in washington. more americans are talking about the constitution because of senator lee and more intelligently because of him and members of the senate in putting some in his own caucus are feeling just a little more pain and anxiety when they back efforts in the founding principles knowing that senator lee will be there at the barricades with a copy of his
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warm doggie your pocket constitution -- dog-eared pocket constitution. welcome back. [applause] ..
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>> i'm from utah, i'm not used to getting carded. [laughter] you laugh, you it happen a lot. what are you doing? the guys are heavily armed. i can't argue with them. i produce my id. show it to you. it's a card, says united states senator representing utah, mike lee, expiration january 3rd, 20 # 17. [laughter] i don't know whether that's when i personally expire or -- [laughter] we went through this little charade when i had to vote. i discovered a shortcut to it, this lapel pen i have on was given to me after i was sworn in. i called it my sorry, senator, pen. when i was carded at the door to the senate, i would point to it, and they said, sorry, senator, come on in. [laughter] it works most of the time, not all the time. one time, not too long ago, i was on the floor of the senate. i had one hand gently resting on
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a desk, and one of the non-uniformed security staff personnel said, please don't lean on the senator's desk. [laughter] i thought it was weird don't lean on your desk, but i respond well to authority. sorry, it won't happy again. he said, are you with the minority? i said, what do you mean? this vote or the next. i don't always vote with my party, but i do most of the time. [laughter] no, do you work for the minority leader? i thought he was getting philosophical. well, of course, i support mitch mcconnell, he's our leerl. are you part of the staff? i realized he doesn't get it so i pointedded to the pen. blank stare, had no idea. at that point, i timidly said i'm senator lee. what? i'm mike lee, i represent a
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state called utah. it resembles a chair that's square. [laughter] he got it. all the color drained from the face and said, i'm sorry, i'm steve if you want to report me, and then he ran for the door. [laughter] i felt bad for steve. i like steve. i chased after him just to make sure he knew no hard feelings. every time i see steve in the hall now, i say hi, steve, so he knows there's no hard feelings. only recently did it occur to me that his name's probably not steve. [laughter] you know, when i started this year, 2012, i was looking forward to two things. two steps that i believed would help us fundamentally thans form the government into that kind of government or closely resembling
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that government that our founding fathers envisioned for us. one of the events i knew would occur likely in june, probably towards the end of june, probably the last thursday in june which i quickly identified as june 28th. i was right. the other date that i recognized as potentially transformative of the government, the other date that i recognized that i thought would probably have a positive impact on the development of our constitutional system of government was november 6th. i would just like to say at the outset that i want to thank chief justice roberts for preparing me on june 28th for the disapontment i would feel on november6th. [laughter] i approached court with anticipation, read all the briefs in the case, sat through four days of oral argument in that case. i had watched every movement,
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every eye twitch, every response to every question, every facial expression, and i'd listen closely to all the questions asked. i thought i knew what the answer was going to be. a lot of was wishful thinking. i approached the courtroom that day with a lot of anticipation and hopefulness. as i took the seat in the bar section of the supreme court that day, i looked around. i look to the right and slightly behind me to the section of the courtroom where the law clerks sit. i remember just a few years earlier when i was a law clerk to justice alita, sat in the chairs with my friend, chris, and i remembered how much fun it was to watch justices announce a decision they had been working on. we knew the results before the rest of the audience did. it was fun to watch their reactions. i then looked to the right and front of me. i saw a podium where i see so many lawyers stand over the years. countless lawyers i've seen
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stand there ever since i started attending supreme court arguments at the age of 10. it was an odd habit i picked up as a child. [laughter] many of those lawyers stood there shaking. you could see them even from the back of the courtroom. shaking because they were so nervous. their shaking more severe when they got a question they didn't plan on. other lawyers stood there as calm as if they were discussing the weather with a friend. my dad had been in the latter category, and i saw him argue in that court many times. sometimes, i thought testifies too casual, but he was good at what he did. i could almost hear the voice resinating through the microphone as i thought back to the last time i saw him argue in that court in 1994 against a worthy opponent named john roberts, and good day, an interesting day. as thoughts raced through my head, sooner or later, the clock
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struck ten. the gavel and clock operated in perfect unison. i heard the familiar sown of the gavel by the marshal followed by all persons before the honorable supreme court of the united states draw near for the court is in session, god save the court. they materialize from the red velvet draperies. i listen to them announce the decisions. true to form, the court held the most interesting case for the last case. the emotion in the room reached a cresnedo and when the court had to release the findings, i, along, with most of the conservatives in the room was e elated when chief justice roberts started announcing the opinion. i took that as a very, very good
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omen. i was more elated as he launched into the constitutional analysis on the commerce clause. i was elated that for only the third time in the last 75 years the supreme court was identifying something, anything, beyond congress' power under the commerce clause. the attention in the room was palpabe. conservatives crying for joy and liberals crying for the opposite reason. all of the sudden, the winds shifted. it went out of the sail of con conservatives and into the sails of the liberals. he explained that even though congress lacks the power to tell individual americans they have to buy health insurance, not just any health insurance, but that health insurance that congress in its wisdom deems necessary for every american to
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purchase, that that power could be exercised under the taxing clause. this was a shocker. it was a shocker in part because the chief justice in the hand down announcement to the court left out a piece of the puzzle that i didn't see until after i left the courtroom. the piece of the puzzle was that the court simultaneously concluded that the penalty attached to the mandate was not attached for the purposes of the antiinjux clause. it is a tax for constitutional purposes. the chief justice dealt with it shortly in one paragraph as i recall saying, well, a tax for some purposes might not be a tax for other purposes, and that's the way it crumbles. you might have something that not a tax for statutory purposes, congress decides that, but not whether it's a tax for constitutional purposes. he never quite explained why the
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standard was more rigid on one side than it was on the other nor did he make an effort to explain why the court should be so willing to expand congress' power. it went on. it continued to be a roller coaster ride. he continued to taunt and then torture conservatives by moving on to the next step of the analysis. going to the medicaid expansion provisions explaning to us that for the first time in history, the court identified something that congress had done that violated the anti-coercion principle of the constitution, that congress unconstitutionally coerced the states, and it was not tollerble. conservatives were void up just to have the wind taken from the sails again with the court's novel construction with the very unprecedented remedy, a remedy that said, yeah, it's
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unconstitutional, but we're just going to order the government not to do that which the statute empowers the government to do. in other words, the affordable care act said that the secretary may withdraw the existing federal medicaid revenue stream fat states that refuse to expand programs along the linings of contemplated by the affordable care act. it gives the power to the secretary, but that which congress giveeth, the chief justice takeetha away. he did it with a stroke of the pen. what we saw that day was something very interesting. i struggled as the left the courtroom that day, talking to reporters gathering to get reactions from members of congress who would refute the decision, and i heard myself very quickly expressing a degree of optimism and enthusiasm for the decision.
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after all, they drew a line in the sand with the commerce clause and actually utilized the principle to declare something unconstitutional. no sooner had words left my mouth or expressed the thought that it was really a victory or a very limited purpose victory, and i don't mean to discount the fact it was a good thing, that due to the efforts of great lawyers, lawyers like randy with us here today. we got a limited purpose victory. my point today is we can't overlook what we lost that day. we lost something very, very important. what we lost that day was the right that we have as americans to live in a society in which our national government operates according to the separation of powers principles embedded in the constitution. now, this separation of powers is important because we can't
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have a court making laws. that law's entrusted only to our elected congress. yet, that's exactly what had happened that day. the supreme court rewrote the affordable care act, not just once, but twice. first in deciding that that which is a penalty and that which, according to the nearly a century's worth of precedence was a penalty because of the fact that it imposed a financial exaction as a result of a failure to comply with a permanent command of the law was somehow a tax that required a rewrite of the statute, requiring app amendment of the statute, not just any rewrite or any amendment, but the kind of an amendment that congress, itself, had been unable to achieve, support to enact. i found it very significant that congress had, in fact, tried to pass the individual map date as a tax provision enforcing that with a tax they failed to achieve necessary votes.
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why? well, for reasons we all understand. it's really difficult to get a new tax passed in congress. that's what happened here. they couldn't get the votes. they couldn't get it passed. it didn't matter at the end of the day because the chief justice rewrote it and turned a penalty into a tax. it got even worse than that when he rewrote it yet again in order to erase the power that the statute affirmatively granted to the secretary of health and human services. we lost the opportunity to have our laws written by those of our own choosing who stand accountable at regular intervals every two years and every six years for the case of senators. we can't overlook the fact. there's two constraints we face in the constitutional system. one cop straint, the one we're often more inclined to focus op as lawyers is the judicial
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constraint. if congress does something, if that something is repugnant of the constitution, then the court is supposed to step in and invalidate it. the court is supposed to serve as a check. the court can't serve that function. if, at the end of the day, it's unwilling to exercise that power. the judicial check was removed in this case. the court faced with constitutional defects overcame those defects by rewriting the statute. it did so in a way that makes matters worse by virtue of the fact it got rid of the second kind of check, the political check. you see, because, after the ruling, it's no longer a -- if you can't pass legislation in a manner that's constitutional, don't worry about it because the court will rewrite it taking care of the judicial backstop and the political backstop as well. this is not okay.
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it's not okay. especially because this will, in turn, further facilitate the erosion of another of the constitution's most important principles, that the federalism. the notion that the federal government is limited, that powers of congress are few and defined and those reserved to the states are indefinite. this, at the end of the day, is not something we can embrace and accept as freedom loving americans. certainly, not as judicial conservatives. this is not something i think we should praise. i want to make it clear that i have nothing but profound professional respect for chief justice roberts. he's ad good and decent man and outstanding jurist throughout the course of his career, but make no mic take, it was a sharp aberration from that professional standard that he had established early in hawaii career. -- early in his career. i hope and expect this proves to be just that, an aberration, and that it will not be something that we can expect more of in
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the future. you see, because, otherwise, if this is something to expect more of in the future, then we will have found ourselves, not only not benefiting from an limitations to establish by the nfib against the decision, but find ourselves with a bigger and bigger government, one facing more and more burdens as a result of its own inability to fund its own operations. ultimately, the rule of law requires more than that. now, when we look back at the reactions that some in our community had to that decision, some immediately praised it. there were some, even, self-professed conservatives who immediately said it was a brilliant decision. this was a master minded decision because, you see, he preserved the constitutional credibility of the court, reserved power as the chief justice to look out for the
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court's own institutional interests. he did that by showing to the public he was not partisan. he was not taking one side or the other, but his own middle ground, cut it right down the middle. this is not a good justification even though a lot of self-professed conservatives claimed it to be such. it is not one because remember jurists take an oath to decide each case on thively on the basis of the law and facts before them. they decide the case regardless of how the public might react to it. looking out for the institutional credibility of the court to the extent it means the public's opinion of the court is not only not a good justification for changing your opinion, for altering your analysis, but it's a particularly pernicious evil within the system. it's not something we can respect. to the extent that this was just an idea of let's split the
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decision so that it's even handed because that's fair, the chief justice, i don't think, believes it's a good thing. i don't think we think it's a good thing. we have to remember that in what became solomon's most famous case, his purpose was never to apply the law in the fashion that he prescribed. he was on a fact finding mission. his only objective in suggesting they split the baby was not, in fact, to split the baby. the law didn't require it. it wouldn't have even allowed it. had he undertaken that effort, neither party would have gone home happy. what he did in that case was simply to uncover the truth. it was never intended to result in the splitting of the baby. unfortunately, in this case, what we were left with was an attempt, i believe, by a court that was determined to give each side some of what it wanted, but
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sometimes one jurist's attempt to do that and consider that an end unto itself. a lot of harm results, just as harm would have resulted in solomon's most famous case. we have, before us, a number of challenges as a nation. i think those challenges can either be made easier or more difficult as a result of our willingness and our ability to community kate the reasons why it's so important that we live under a government that recognizes some restraints op its own power, that we recognize that each branch of government has its open power, and it shouldn't step on any other branch's power, and we've also got to stand up for the principle not over power should be exercised at the national level. the more we stand for these principles, as unpopular as they may be, difficult to explain as they may be, i tend to believe our best days really will be ahead of us as americans.
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you see, americans are smart. americans are able to recognize truth. truth resinates with the american people. in order for it to resinate, it has to come from us. we have to speak it. we have to identify it. we have to identify error where we see error. this is app instance where error o cored, and i hope we doesn't shrink from the task of identifying error when it arises, especially when it jeopardizes the health and guyalty of our great god given constitutional system. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> time for two questions maybe. >> good afternoon, senator lee. thank you very much. third time i heard you speak, and you're ever-more inspiring every time. if you go back to look at the reports' confirmation hearing, he was asked many, many times on the theory of restraint and deference. he was never asked to articulate his theory of limited government. is there something the judiciary committee could do in the future to avoid perhaps the kind of restraint we got? the blind restraint we got in the obamacare decision? >> yes. glad you asked that question. this is something that i bring up regularly, you know, in my short almost two years in the senate. we, of course, have yet to process the nominees, but we process with regularities, lower
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case judges. it doesn't matter if it's district court judges. i make a practice of asking them what their views are on the enumerated powers dock trip and frequently ask them to identify, even if it requires a degree of speculation, what, if anything, falls outside of congress' power under the commerce clause? and i make it a little more difficult for them by telling them that you can't identify lopez or morrison and now in addition, nfib. [laughter] you find it quite interesting to watch the responses. a lot of them look as if i've asked them to insummit their mother or something like that. some look at me as if i've asked them to derive pi to the 800th
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decimal from memory. you know, it is an important question, and it's a question that i think needs to be asked more often. it's interesting to watch what happens when that question is asked at the supreme court. i thought it interesting to watch variations of that question be asked during the nfib arguments and to listen to the solicitor general hem and haw and ultimately not come up with anything that is beyond congress' power. >> senator, you were, perhaps, responding to president obama's support of three individuals -- as all nominees, voted to hop nor some that came up later on, and so i was wondering, one,
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ashunses giving that will not repeat and perhaps flexible later on, and, two, is there a source to respond either from you or your colleagues or both of you should senator reid decide to preet and change the filibuster rule at the beginning of the 113th congress? >> okay. so, first, as to the recess appointments issue. this was app important issue for me. when president obama made four appointments that he identified as recessed appointments on january 4, 2012, three to the nlrb and one being richard cordray to head up the consumer financial protection bureau. he broke with precedent. people from both parties have been fawned of responding to this by saying, look, every president or nearly every president has made recessed appointments. the other party always complains. get over it. grow up.
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those who say that overlook something important. it's unprecedented. as far as i can ascertain in the research, the first time, the only time in history when any president purported the power at a time when the senate, according to its own rules, was not in recess. it's significant, in fact, that just 24 hours before the appointments were made on january 3rd, 2012, the senate held its opening, convening sessions of session two of the 112th congress. congress generally consistents of two sessions, session one being the first year, session two being the second year. the senate just convened. ininaugural session of the second session 24 hours earlier. according to the rules, time honored precedence and
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tradition, we were not adjourned for purposes relevant to the recess appointments clause. that's why i signal my displeasure at this. i had to think of something in order to keep it in the news because it's important that people continue to talk about it so i've voted no on a number of judicial appointments since then, after that point. towards the end of the year, i lifted my categorical policy only because the senate republican conference had by that point, in my opinion, adequately responded to what the president did by evoking the rule refusing to process additional judicial nominees within a certain category beyond that point. i regarded that as a sufficient response. i said at the outset that until such time as my party responds or until there's insurance from the president, this will not happen again, i'll continue to vote no.
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as to the second part of the question, if harry reid takes this very nuclear option of tingerring with the filibuster -- tinkering with the filibuster rule, if, as we anticipate, he tries to shut down the process of cloture votes on motions to proceed, we will regard that as a threat to the institution, and a threat to our system of rules, a threat to our system that made the senate supposed by the greatest deliberative body in the world, and there will be a strong and proportional response. i can't tell you what that will be yet, in part, because we don't know what form reid's efforts would take; nor, are we certain he'll do it yet. rest assured, we're not going to take kindly to that. [applause]
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>> well, this is a -- [applause] this is a wonderful to have you here senator. it's a double feature this afternoon, and i have the privilege of also introducing to you our next speaker, u.s. senator-elect ted cruz from texas. it was two years ago when ted cruz came up to me and others here in this room saying he was contemplating a run for the u.s. senate and asked for reaction. trying hard not to pour water over ted's noble commitment to public service, i resisted what would roll out of our topings -- tongues when a friend confronts us with advise. are you crazy? do you have a fever? have you sought professional help for this behavior? [laughter] taking a slightly different tact, i asked the usual questions. is it the right time politically?
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do you think the money's there? is your family prepared for this? have you checked all the necessary boxes back home in texas? now, as any of you know ted would guess, looked reflective and discerning at the questions, but you knew he was optimistic and just raring to go. he wanted to do this. from the experiences with the bush campaign and his bid for attorney regime, he knew he was ready for the political fray, and while he probably was not sure whether the timing was right electorally, he knew from the experiences as solicitor general of texas as an official in washington during the first -- the bush administration, and as a former law clerk to chief justice that was important to get to the defending the system of the constitutional government in the halls of washington sooner rather than later. by the end of the conversation,
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how could i be anything but thankful he wanted to run and hopeful for success? ted's drive, on the niche -- optimism and pursuit of service out of commitment to the constitution paid off with great sacrifice from him, his wife, heidi and their family, ted stands before us as the senator-legislate from the state of texas. we are all the better for it because we have a good man with extraordinary skill and intellect and unparalleled and unflinching commitment to the constitution and small and limited government. i have no doubt, no doubt, that ted cruz will quickly emerge as one of congress' key spokesman and leaders for revival for the structural constitution standing alongside, of course, senator mike lee. please extend a warm welcome to a long time fellow federalist, u.s. senator-elect ted cruz of
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texas. [applause] >> thank you very much, thank you. [applause] well, thank you, leonard, for that very, very warm welcome. it is great to back with family. like many people in this room, i've grown up with the federalist society. this has been my home for my entire adult life, my entire professional life. federalist society we're having our 30th anniversary now. i first became involved with this group 20 years ago when i was in law school. at the time, i have to admit, 20 years ago, the federalist society already seemed as
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established with major power, which probably reflects the naivety of me. [laughter] it is truly breathtaking how we have journeyed together. you know, the first thing i have to say to everyone here is there are a lot of men and women in this room who believed in this crazy, improbable journey when no one in their right mind would have, expressed the same fore bearance discussed, and the phrase are you crazy -- [laughter] and two year ago, i was in the room listening to then brand new senator mike lee stand and give a speech that was just jaw dropping. let me be very clear, there's no
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united states senators, zero, in the u.s. senate remotely like mig lee. [applause] i'll tell you afterwords, he and i went and visited -- actually the first time we had met, and we spent the next couple hours debating constitutional law. we went back -- when you just get elected, and you're a brand new senator elect, they give you app office in the basement of the capital that is buried down in the bowls there. i can tell you i saw a minotor wandering around outside. [laughter] i spent a couple hours with mike walking around. i remember, in fact, this it was friday, and i walked with him to the office to hand in requests for committees.
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i remember one of the things talked about at the time was the national debt, which was, at the time, $14 trillion, a few trillion ago. it so happened the gao had a report that estimated the value of all of the land owned by the united states government was right at $14 trillion. now, that struck me as a fairly convenient equivalent, and i don't see any reason why the united states government should be the largest land owner in the world, and why it should own the united states west of the mississippi. we began discussing that, and it occurred to me in mike lee i was in the presence of a fellow traveler. in the presence of a fell loy federalist. mike was the first major national figure to endorse my
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campaign right when we launched, and he was -- i remember just a month or two later visiting after a dinner a and talked about the senate, and he said, well, what can i do to help? i said, well, you can endorse me. he said, yeah, i could do that. he looked over at the staff saying, i can do that, can't i? [laughter] they looked at their shoes. they didn't want it argue with the boss too much. well, i guess you can. so he jumped out, endorsed me when he was not in the senate for 30 day. it's one of the first acts. it signified mike lee was not a typical senator. when we started the campaign, when you jumped on board, when we started, i was quite literally at 2% in the polls. the margin of error was 3%.
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[laughter] which, if my math serves me, means technically, i could have been at negative 1%. it might have. the case that 1% of texas would have gone to the polls and written in not cruz. [laughter] we went through a $50 # million primary. most expensive primary in the entire country. i can tell you, you have not lived until you had $35 million in attack ads running against you. mid way through my wife, heidi, watching the ads, turned to me and said, goodness gracious, i didn't realize you were such a rotten guy. [laughter] we were outspent 3-to-1. in any other race, i should have
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been road kill. i should have been an armadillo by the side of the freeway. for those of y'all not from texas, you can go look it up. [laughter] we saw something extraordinary happen. we saw thousands and thousands of republican women of tea party leader of business leaders of conservative activists all over the state of texas coming together begin knocking on doors, begin making phone calls, reaching out to their friends, and we end up going from 2% in the polls to not just winning that primary, but winning by 14 points. it was an incredible testament to the grassroots to the way politics should be decidedded. now, the main message i want to convey to folks today is a combination of retrospective and prospective. retrospective asking what the heck happened last tuesday on
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election because the election was not pretty. prospective asking where do conservatives go moving forward? i actually think those two questions are closely intertwined, i'll cut to the punch line first and go back to get to there. the punch line is what the federalist society has done in the world in law in three decades has been extraordinary. in fact, jape meyer and i visited right before hand, and she laughed and said, you know, when you and i visited and you were going to run two years ago, she said, i foolishly thought you could win. [laughter] i laughed. i said, you know, that's a sign of our collective naivety. you know what? three decades ago when the federalist society was founded, the missions of this
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organization were impossible it achieve. it took a bunch of naive idealists oblivious to the realities of the conventional wisdom to do way we do to the law. what i'm going to suggest to you is collectively we need to do to politics what we've done to the law. where is it federalist society gone in thee decades? three decades ago, it was a very different legal world. this organization, you know, last night, we talk about the law schools now trying to shut down federalist society groups from even bringing in speakers. why? because we're winning the arguments. because our ideas are right. go back and read a statutory interpretation case from the 1970s.
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they begin with we have before us this statutory question. the legislative history is as follows: therefore -- go back and read. you can't -- many of the decisions you can't find the statutory text in the opinion. maybe it's a footnote if you're interested in what footnote we're talking about, here's the citation. go look it up. far more relevant is the subcommittee report and comment a member of congress said on the subway on the way to getting a coup of coffee. originalists didn't exist. what did this organization do collectively? we started making the arguments. we started making arguments that law matters. that we have a constitution, that the constitutional protections matter. read any statutory interpretation decision today. everybody today starts with a
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text. they don't always follow it, but they at least start with it. for some, it's the thing to be gotten around, but at least they acknowledge it's the thing to be gotten around. you know, look at a decision like dc versus heller. now, i think that was a tremendous victory for second amendment rights. one of the things that is striking, read the principle dissent. the principle dissent purports to be an original dissent. it's a very bad originalism, but what a statement of victory that in the words of the perisians, we're all originalists now. we won many arguments. it's not to say these fights aren't still happening, but the legal world is transformed
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because of the men and women in this room taking a principled focus at winning the argument. my view in the political world, you know, this is an organization that reveres the constitution. i would guess, if i asked the people in this room, how many of you would like to be a federal judge? half the hands would go up. that constitution, look, the federal judiciary's incredibly important. it's, of course, in article three of the constitution. there's a reason the framers began with article one and article two. the courts and the political branches are intertwined. we may well see the consequences of this last election on our judiciary the next four years in a way that i think is highly perilous. you know, the press, after any
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election in which republicans don't do well, it always writes the headline, the problem was those pesky conservatives. that was written before election day was over. if only republicans would become like democrats, they would have won this election. in my view, the election results on tuesday have one simple explanation. we didn't win the argument. heck, we didn't even make the argument. our country was built on foundational revolutionary ideas. you think of the founding fathers who fought a revolution, first with bayonettes -- [laughter] [applause]
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and for the record, there are, today, more bayonettes in the military than there were in 1960, but them a more important revolution. a revolution of ideas, we were told that our rights came from monarchs. they came from kings and queens and whatever we might enjoy were crumbs given by grace by the rulers. the framers of our constitution inverted that entire concept of sovereignty. they began from the proposition that our rights don't come from a king, a queen, or even a president. they come from god almighty, and the constitution exists to protect those rights and to limit government to serve as jefferson put it, as chains to behind the mischief of government.
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for milenia, there's two ways of ordering a society. one based on free markets, entrepreneurship, and individual speedometer, and that has consistently led to the greatest opportunity and prosperity. ever seen across the globe. the other way is based on collectivism, government control, and socialism. that has consistently, time and time again, led to shared suffering and misery. it is not accidental in the debates over obamacare that not a single democrat publicly pointed to any of the nation's on earth that currently have socialized medicine and said that's what we want because the effect of putting it into practice over and over again over the tower has poor quality,
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rationing, and government bureaucrats getting between us and the doctors. we didn't make that argument. let me ask you, what was the high point of this presidential campaign? without exception, everyone -- the first debate between romney and obama. the one time we actually contested ideas, presented two view points and directions for the country. then inevitably, there's mandrins in politics who give the voice don't show any contrast. don't rock the boat. by the third debate, i'm pretty certain mitt romney actually french kissed barack obama. [applause] [laughter] i have no doubt that there is a
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focus group somewhere of undecided ohio voters who lived in a cave the last 30 years who decided they liked that. don't show any disagreement whatsoever with the president. don't rock the boat. just be a nice guy and have a personality contest. those turn out so well for us. [laughter] our ideas work. their ideas don't work. you know, even that first debate, how striking was it that when mitt romney pressed obama, his response was, well, under bill clinton, there was great economic prosperity. the whole answer of obama's all about bill clinton and how enoughty the -- nifty the economy was under him. i would have begin a limb to see mitt romney turn to him and say, mr. president, i knew bill
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clinton. [laughter] [applause] our ideas work. their ideas don't. the last four years, our economy's grown 1.5% a year. that is less than half the historical average for 70 years average 3.3% growth a year. now, this president is fond of saying he inherited the worst economy in the history of the universe. [laughter] everything, by the way, is george w. bush's fault. he doesn't have much historical memory when he makes that argument. any of y'all remember 1978-79? double digit unemployment, 22% interest rates, gas lines, stagflation. in 1980 #, a very, very different president got
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legislatedded. ronald reagan, like barack obama, inherited a struggling economy, and reagan implemented policies 180 opposite those of obama. instead of jacking up taxes, he slashedded taxes. instead of exploding spending in the debt, he restrained the growth of spending, and instead of unleashing the hounds of regulators, by the way, when i think of regulators, i can't help but thinking of mr. burns saying, "release the hounds." [laughter] instead of releasing the hounds of regulators on small businesses and entrepreneurs, reagan limited regulation, and the result was an extraordinary burst of productivity that our nation has ever seen. fourth year of reagan's presidency, 1984, corresponding now to the fourth year's of obama presidency.
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anyone know what gdp growth was in 1984? 7.2%. our ideas work. their ideas don't. if you want growth. if you jobs, if you the the 23 million people struggling to find work to get jobs, the answer is simple. you need growth. to get growth, you've got to reduce and simplify the tax burden, reduce regulations, and unchain small businesses and entrepreneurs. it speaks volumes that over 50% of the americans who voted on legs day believe the economy was george w. bush's fault. there's a reason for that. president obama said that every single day and twice on sundays, and we never responded. the economy -- i mean, republicans were so terrified of uttering the words "george w. burr" that we never responded.
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another example. all of y'all are familiar with the quote "war op -- "war on women." the president, every democrat went throughout this campaign saying republicans want to take away contraceptives. what utter and complete nonsense. i don't know a single republican on the face of the globe who wants to take away anybody's contraceptives. look, my wife and i have two little girls. i'm thrilled we don't have 17. [laughter] not nearly as thrilled as she is. [laughter] this attack was always deliberate mendacity.
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remember way back when in the republican primary when george was moderating? as an aside, where on earth are people like george steven notary public los moderating republican primaries? [applause] if you remember, he asked mitt romney what's your views on the right to contraceptives. look, that was not an accident. that was the democratic attack. we're going to say it's a war on women. everyone scratched their head saying, what ru you talking about? nobody was talking about contraceptives until they decided to cook up this attack. what the issue was really about, it was not too long ago that the democratic party was proud to have been the first major party to nominate the first two catholics to be candidate for president of the united states. what do you think of al smith or
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john f. kennedy would have said to a president who says to the catholic church change your religious beliefs or i will use my power as president to shut down your hospitals and your charities. that is a radical view. that is an extreme view. it's never had anything to do with contraceptives which everybody has a right to get, and nobody disagrees with that. this was always about government forcing americans to violate their religious conscious. yet, despite having an add min strags that took such a radical view, the president got 50% of the catholic vote, 71 #% of the hispanic vote, 50% of whom are catholics. did we once make the argument in the catholic community? we didn't make the argument, and if you don't make the argument, you don't win the argument.
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now, going forward, my focus in the u.s. senate, unfortunately, in the minority, are going to be working to cut spending, to push regulatory reform, and tax reform, to get economic growth back. when i asked each of you to do is bring the same creativity, the same diligence, the same thinking and passion that each of you has individually brought to changing our legal world. bring it to the political discourse. if you want to change where we are, we have got to win the argument. as margaret thatcher put it, first you win the argument, then you win the election. i look forward to working with each of you to do precisely that. thank you. [applause]
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>> there are many people who might even take issue with grant saving the union during the civil wariments didn't lincoln do that? well, yeah, he did. i'm not going to say grant was the only person who saved theupon, but he was the -- the union, but he was the commanding general of the armies that were lincoln's policies, and he was the general that accepted the surrender of the army of northern virginia under robert e. lee that ended the war. ..
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>> east asia scholars speak at the brookings institution for discussion on the u.s.-china relationship. this is about an hour. >> i'm going to be very reap in introducing her to penalize. i'm also going to be discussing for which jonathan promised me to cookies instead of one, doing double the lead. so i'm not going to say anything
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substantive about this panel other than the two subjects in the u.s. side of things in the regional side of things, number one they mesh very well, but also they mesh with the first panel in an important way. i think we will all be interested to hear how that is done. just, i think you're going first and we all know jeffrey bader, the founding director of the fort thunder and the senior care care -- director for the first two posters i guess has written, by the way, a wonderful book
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i want to say briefly i see the
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current shape of the u.s.-china relationship. i see it as basically decent shape. i don't see the downward spiral for rising confrontation at a rate about frequently in the media and scholarly commentary both of the united states and china. to illustrate back in "the new york times" over the weekend had an article about president obama's current trip to denmark thailand and cambodia and talked about it as a contest with china "the new york times" sports section follow the same standards as the front page. the redskins gave yesterday was at its philadelphia eagles. it was really against the green bay packers. one thing i learned working at the white house is you can't be retrieved to be sure, and matter where you go, nothing to do with the country you're visiting it's
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about china. even if all the preparations and briefings, principles, committee meetings, china is never mentioned. it's about china. i'm not sure what standard is applied to determine what constitutes a good or normal relationship to the a bit of in this relationship for over three decades and i can't recall a time when it was easier to do with substantial friction. but perhaps the 1980s when were both transfixed by the soviet threat. in no time sense is that been an across-the-board economic issues. that isn't to say i'm not concerned about some aspects of the relationship right now. it shows that i don't get beyond capacity theaters to manage issues in a way that allows cooperative elements to remain substantial and avoid conflict. perhaps it's a metaphor for
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people who don't live with uncertainty and relationships that don't fall neatly into the category of ally or enemy. but that might be the right way to think about the u.s.-china relationship in the world. one of the chief characteristics of the moment when president obama and secretary she will be doing within the month and years to come. first secretary clinton said in her speech at the u.s. institute of peace a few months ago, we are interdependent. that's the word she used. our economies are interdependent. china holds $1.3 trillion. u.s. companies have invested in china. two-way trade is well over $500 billion. this is a relationship -- larry summers put it very well. larry who was mentioned earlier
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today. i've heard him say he could picture a 21st century in which the united states and china prospered for a 21st century which the united states and china did not prosper. but he could not picture a 21st century in which one prospered in the other did not. so i can't we have a fair degree of cooperation and the principal nuclear weapons mainly the iranian and north korean programs. though we do not agree on the proper mix of pressure and inducements. third, we are both watching the arab spring, if that's what it still called, with weariness is to see consequences play out in the arena, spill over into molly and egypt's relationship with israel. the u.s. remains more prepared to align himself with forces of change whatever the risks while china is hostile to any actions that would violate its
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sacrosanct principle of respect for the sovereignty of existing governments. so we confront each other over syria. one cannot rule out evolution of the situation that could alter u.s.-china russia confrontation such as the situation in gaza. a three-way relationship on beijing, washington and taipei is positive and quiet, as quiet as it's been over two decades. since that's the only issue on which there is any realistic prospect of armed conflict, and that is small thing. fifth, territorial disputes in the south china sea and east china sea are in my view the most troubling development. chinese confrontation with u.s. treaty allies, principally with japan create serious tensions and introduce unpredictability in the u.s.-china chip as well
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as offering an image of china's rise is unsettling to countries well beyond concerned rivals. finally, military deployments on both sides. i won't discuss those because i believe jonathan, jonathan pollack will do so in depth in his presentation. what do we expect them president obama's second term and she champagnes first. the main variable and the relationship is china. president obama has had for years to formulate and put in place an approach towards china. in broad terms it is consistent with that of his predecessor since president nixon. its main features are welcoming attitude towards china's rising willingness to accept the larger role for china internationally and insistence that china's rice be consistent with international law and norms. it deepens u.s. presence in
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engagements in the asia-pacific region including international organizations like the east asia summit, strengthens alliances and partnerships with china's neighbors, gradual development of military to military relations. openness to chinese investments in the 90s they, appointments and protectionist measures that rattle markets for greater willingness than predecessors to street germany's in wto dispute mechanisms. there's little reason to expect a dramatic change in this approach and president obama second term. she's approach with the u.s. is less clear. before getting to that, let me figure out the point talking about it shortly to who's going to hold the key. foreign policy portfolios in china in the years to come. the names chumley mentioned is
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this a pretty good universe to look at. one gyri -- all essential committee members and correct me if i'm wrong, john gaslight is an ultimate number of essential committee. so that's the universe to look at for a state council and foreign minister. i'm not going to make a fool of myself and predict which one will be in which position which will be 75% rating in predict pain of 100% on your selection and sydney silver. [laughter] but i'm not going to go about it then. but these individuals, if you look at all of them, only two of them have deep long-standing
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backgrounds and relations with the u.s. the others mostly in japan and korea and taiwan. john cornwall in international organizations and more lately hong kong is for north korea. john june has been asia. that doesn't tell us very much. if i think back to the 1980s were wondering who is going to six lead, one of the names that came up was cenci chon. but we knew was he was a russian hands in eastern europe. so there was an assumption -- an easy assumption he must be friendly to the soviet union. on the contrary, turned out to be a great steward of the u.s.-china relationship without it back around.
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more recently state counselor overseeing the u.s.-china chad. first night before he moved up -- when he moved up yet no real background in u.s. at all. he has turned out to be really the foundation of the relationship in the last few years despite not having the background. on the other hand, people who were associated with the united states often feel defensive within their system about that relationship. they feel they are potentially under attack, c&s american hands as much as china hints in the 1950s if you will were under attack and sometimes overcompensated. someone shouldn't diss them much about any of these individuals about what it would take except they're all pretty well steeped in broad foreign policy and relationship with the u.s., even
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if it isn't the birthright of some of them. terms of she champagnes, in terms of the unpredictability of the rise in these one-party systems as to how they are going to behave. there's no record to site within the united states beyond successful visit to the united states in which he performed well, showed some personality beyond what were necessarily accustomed to seeing in general secretaries post generally on script and that was not his script. so we don't know. it's interesting to analyze other foreign policy pictures i mentioned and the other men urged of the committee. this is going to be she's policy. i went to beijing in 1997 with
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madeleine albright. we happen to land better one or two days after showing supping died and was given a funeral or ration the next day. we met at 9:00 p.m. and sean said to secretary albright when he assumed the general secretary showed that he had told them, you are responsible for u.s.-china relations. that was a quote and made a big deal out of that. basically was passing the baton. if i look at the last five years, this has been lucian's house relationship. i assume he's been handed to some degree, but fundamentally has relationship. i asked it's nothing less. the other members of the committee were interesting, but this is the relationship.
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there is one important respect in which i believe relations can be smoothed in the next few years. many chinese intellectual assent of officials have reacted with president obama's announcement that the u.s. could do to asia, asia pacific region in november november 2011. while the paper to rebalance it should not be seen as a strategy of containment of china, clearly some military steps associated with it, deployment of marines to australia, plus enough of navy resources in the pacific and formulations for anti-access strategies, the u.s. posture on south and east china seas have run the chinese have talent just as they've been generally well received by other countries in the region. but by now the chinese should have absorbed the meaning of the rebalance. there should not be more jolts from the u.s. side in the second
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term i would guess. if you read or heard tom donnelly's speech at csi is the other day, previewing the president's trip to asia, you have heard and seen the vision essentially steady as she goes. not a preview of new dramatic initiatives. the u.s. economy should be stronger in the next few years. china's growth has slowed from the blazing pace of 2000, 2010 that accompanied them probably caused a lot of what we've seen in cheney's foreign policy the last two years. i would guess the likely alteration of the slope of these two kurds when the amount the top of the americans decline in chinese dominance that has flourished in the last five years. the principal risk i see that
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could lead to confrontation and deterioration of relations is disputes in the south and east china sea, particularly the east china sea. while china aggressively assert its territorial claims? is that in a hurry to do so? will be pushed by nationalist voices against the better judgment of the leadership? if so, particularly with japan japan japan and had given a clear social mission of dealing with chinese contingencies. this would be to a different kind of u.s.-china relationship and a different security framework in asia. thank you all very much. look forward to your questions. [applause]
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>> thank you. given that jeff has done such a really outstanding job at reviewing the different trends and possibilities in u.s.-china relationship, i will set that issue aside and focus on two questions, one of which i've touched on a little. one had been briefly alluded to in chung lee's remarks. what i think it may reveal about the shift to enroll at the chinese military, the people's liberation army and the chinese process to come. it related to that, i will talk about questions pertaining to the regional security environment that jeff has also just raised. let me begin with questions related to military leadership. not unlike the turnover of the party, there's been a near total
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makeover of china's senior military leadership reflect in the dynamics that or they are that chung noted about how retirements are mandated and so forth. so if we look where we were even a few weeks ago, we see major changes in the composition of the central military commission. we see a poor student and military members of the bureau. we see hooch and house decision to retire from leadership, notable by ted and shaun and the role with respect to military affairs. we have new leadership in all four general departments as well as new leadership of the second artillery air force. at the same time, it is important to note those who were not promoted were two generals,
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both very high-ranking, both the ruling families in china who were associated specifically chung hi jan who was political secretary. a very, very powerful figure in the military in the past, had been a member of the bureau and of course general of the u.n., son of leo chukchi whose political commissar of the general logistics department. both of these officers did not receive promotions obviously and reflects to me continued effort to and affect consolidate in power, professional military officers who are loyal to the party, not engaged in chinese
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politics and in this context, suggesting over time the gradual diminution of the dominant influence of ground forces in china's military. we see this in a couple respects and of course related to this that the parallel rise at the air force, navy and perhaps to an extent the central artillery. luscious look for example at two new members of the -- two new vice chair of the central military commission. cheong alluded to that debate before. one, general fund chung moon of the military region. general phong did something unusual. he jumped to greece. he never served in the military commission in this case he leapfrogged totally uncharacteristic in order to be promoted to vice chair of the
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cmc. but the military region i should note has been the laboratory on location, the testbed but the concepts and doctrines related to a military experimentation, related to exercises conducted on a regular basis since general phong assumed the military region in 2004. he has a personal and professional identification with major steps major steps in innovation in the pla. general chi lung, former commander of the chinese air force has spoken and written extensively about the role of air and space power in future strategy that this will be a very traditional concepts of the dominance of a kind of air
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defense mentality in the pla. the service chief previously has ever assumed this kind of leadership role in the past. so we have a significant shift it seems to me with these nanometers as well as the new theaters in the general departments in the second artillery. if we look for example to use one telling case, the new commander of the general staff department of the pla is a graduate of national defense university, he is widely published on a range of topics and military journals in the lake. he was the youngest of china's seven military region commanders , having been put in the beijing military region in 2007. so all of these i think suggests
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to me a system that has become a bit more dynamic, certainly not following the established norms. into this mix, let's look at t. chin. she is a certain amount of military pedigree. around 1980 was the secretary for pyongyang and important as a leader in its own right. it suggests to me that turned this in his career background as a party official, he may prove a more influential figure in military policymaking than hooch and how. we could have his wife's career as a pla singer, but it does have links that his predecessors had not. affiliations or family. he was not nearly as much a
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stranger. she's leadership of the maritime security small-group, so he's been much more active in this area than people might realize. so it begs the issue, issued a leader and advocate if you look at the pla has been waiting for quite even if the pla did rather well, releasing significant otterness station, significant increases in funding levels, this suggests to me a different relationship between the leader at the top and the services perhaps including a much more hands-on role in the formulation of policy. not all of of the spread of this necessarily happiness with the pla. the question is will jin put
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military corruption on his to-do list quakes we will find out if he did degree he's identified with that. his circumstances as general secretary and chairman of the military commission necessarily put him in a different kind of position than his predecessors. the fact in addition that hu jintao will not continue as chairman of the military commission really gives them additional opportunities and possibilities that his predecessor did not. now let me switch quickly to questions related to the implications of china's military development and relationships to chinese foreign policy. as has been noted, 2012 was a very tumultuous year in asia, not just for reasons related to political transition in all the states of the region, but also
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in terms of what i will call china's military act as a come of most of course as jeff bader noted with respects to china's conduct in the south china sea and east china sea. in my view, these developments since the spring of 2012 have validated a more forward leaning military establishment, though it is still obviously the dutiful servant of the party leadership to be sure. much of what we have observed in both of these domains has been with the activation of the different kinds of maritime capabilities, the white hole chips, not the gray old ships. but these have quite simply redefined status quo off the coast of china. we now see whether with regard to the scarborough shores in the
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philippines or the condos, what we see is a permanent or ongoing chinese military presence or maritime presence in those domains. affect the control of scarborough sure by china and surrounding waters and with respect i can only quote from a foreign ministry spokesman on october 31st, he stated unequivocally, a fundamental change has already occurred in the di ui in linz. we now see daily patrols in nearby ships in nearby waters, suggesting to me that in an ironic way, this has been as much an opportunity for the maritime services as it has been a problem if you will. at the same time, there are
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voices that speak of kind of a harshness and a suspicion among the very few senior officers who have had occasion to speak publicly with respect to relations with the united states. i don't want to make more of this finish it, but it really bears consideration. the vice president made some very, very harsh remarks publicly in melbourne and not sober, in effect suggesting there's an american hidden hand with respect to tensions the south china sea and east china sea, even as the united states insists that it does not take a stand in either of these areas on the respective claims. but that seems to be falling on some ears in china. of course even with respect to the vice president of the ams has spoken australia, it is
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counterbalanced by formulaic reiterations of defensive intent on china's part, insisting china is not pursuing regional dominance on exclusive chinese regional order, and the security cooperation of various forms remains the fundamental driving direction of the pla, even as they're none too cryptic and about the roles of external powers, guess who, in his view of inject the new tensions in the regional environment. all of this is against the backdrop of an unsettled regional picture that have emerged over the past year. there will i assume be a major item for discussion at the east asia summit, which will take us -- is that tomorrow? now, the military and all of
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this is playing a larger role in how china presents his policy option. certainly there is an increased emphasis on the acquisition and development of new capabilities, even now, and this is telling us well, the u.s.-china military to military relationship has actually been much more active in recent months. secretary panetta was enshrined in september and even when c. jin was in the united states can be one it to pay a visit to the pentagon, which he did. so he's not necessarily distancing himself. he may even see a kind of a value added in identifying with it. the way china is trying to improve its advantage as he rose present itself as a much more credible force in this context. now, would he be prepared to
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risk a major downturn in the u.s.-china relationship probably recent noted, i doubt this very, very seriously. china has stated claims that could reconfigure the regional buyer meant for years to come or at least in its own estimation to protect and assert its interests. the question for the longer-term is how does the united states choose to react and respond? this is among the operative questions that the obama administration is going to face in coming years. thank you very much for your time. [applause] >> so my second role is to a discussion following on this too terrific recitations.
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when jonathan asked me to take on this role, i cautioned him one problem with the most likely be in violent agreement with both and amateur and that in fact to be the case. so what is left to me really is to add a few to what has been said, not to picket all of of what they have said. part of what i would point to sa said at the outset is i think there is not only between these presentations, but also the first panel. jonathan's comments and jeff's point to the importance of the leadership issues that have just been before us in taking about these questions. so i'm just going to take a few point to comment on. first on the personal role, i agree she really matters. there's two elements informed
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policy nations that matter. it changes very, very slowly. the other is the individual who comes to leadership at the different background, different experience, different set of values and that makes the difference. granted you cannot race in that particular system without having been acculturated and i was pointed out come you don't get to top expressing individual views that differ with current leadership which you hope to exceed. we can see a east in the case of hu jintao in on taiwan policy matter. on that issue in particular, he forged a new consensus. he did so by about in a couple of positions which allowed him to say i am alive with everything before. the essence of china and also
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not sitting by any form of independent, but he really did forage that consensus at the leadership level. whether on that issue or another when i'll come to some of that. i think hu jintao is in a position to do this. we'll have this question of the collective leadership, but primus inter pares is a phrase that's been used. we just have to see if for example the fact that she's got five lame ducks if you will sitting there. but if they are all sort of in the same group or more or less in the same group can guide them along policy lines he favors. the question of the u.s. relationship sort of touches on everything that i see in the region and even beyond. the issue of mutual trust.
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people talked a lot about that over the years from the lack of mutual truce, what are we up to from the chinese this? what are they up to from our perspective? poll question of rebalancing. they seek just caved in and used to that -- >> slip of the time. >> slip of the tongue. i think the point just made his right and that is there has been an adjustment, a recognition more than when it was first announced that this is about whether china. it's about china, but it's a lot more than china. it's about security, but a lot more than security. while i think there is still a debate going on in china including the pla about how much the policy is designed to constrain china's rise in the power and influence in the larger set of american
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interests, i do think it is not consensus at this point that it is simply a way of controlling china's rise. but the question is if we do have silly sense of mutual mistrust, how do we deal with? i have long felt that we needed a real conversation at the topmost level, where you sit there reading talking points and so on, although i guess you start they are, but where you try to have computers and this is obviously prepared along a way at lower levels to talk about your ambitions are, concerns are, hopes about the other side in particular and so on. i think one should overdo the value of dialogue, but that kind of frank dialogue you're not likely to deal effectively with the question. with regard to the united
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states, i couldn't agree more is just about the status and taiwan strait issues at this point. start way the columnist and best it's been probably in 60 years. the question is where it goes from here and whether that creates any potential problems. i think that that is not likely except in the case of arms sales and we've seen in the past beijing has tended to suspend usually military to military relationships and after the last announcement in fact the prc took a more mild approach than at previously, precisely because the things of greatest concern to them didn't get addressed, did you sold. is that the case that the administration? a lot of people think it is, but we'll have to see.
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in the meantime we saw in hu jintao report to the office the party conference report in 1992 consensus who had talked about it before but not in the 17th party congress reported so on. he talked again if he had in another context about a peace accord. i don't think that necessarily means you're going to have come in fact if you take these two things together, a lot of pressure on taiwan that could implicate the u.s. interests. but i think that is something to watch. the middle east i would argue is likely to loom somewhat larger in the u.s. prc relationship in the sense that things go off the tracks with regard to either iran or syria are now at israel's problems on the gaza and so on, i think both sides
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are careful to work as altogether as they can, but they don't look at things exactly the same way and it will matter at the street united states if we find things we think should be done at the united nations in other ways are stymied by china. i'm not predicting that, but i would put a star next to it is a possibility. north korea. i think we see some renewed at over the next several months to see if there's a path forward. i don't see it changing the terms of engagement. an ambassador in seoul just reiterated that in fact we won't, but will also have a new government in seoul, which no matter who wins will be looking towards some more engagement and that could indeed complicate things that involve both the u.s. and china and i think we
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have to pay attention. finally on these issues, i think the focus on the south china sea and particularly the east china sea is absolutely right. i think we see china is basically if you type reverently two folks from the mainland, which he did is we didn't start at scarborough shaw and japanese started at, but as one said the other day, we fixed it. that is i think a rather unfortunate attitude. i think it may be all too accurate a reading of how at least some important people on the mainland look at what's going on. i have nothing to add to what jeff said about the possible involvement of the united states in this. one thing one could say if the attitudes what china is doing
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are not very positive. so it's not only a matter of alliance engagement, which is real, but a matter of how people think about what it's up to and how it is behaving and could behave into the future. i guess i had a couple of questions or points to make with regard to jonathan. he partly answered one question. big changes in military leadership, the question i ask is so wet. you partially answered that in the rising role of pla air force. i'm not sure the navy necessarily came out all that well in personnel appointments, but clearly they are given a greater role in terms of what you said about the island disputes and so on is pretty obvious. i do think china is seeking to change the status quo in the military, particularly the navy
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will play a fairly big role in that. why don't i just leave it at that. i'm not going back into moderator role can't excuse me, so i'll be happy to take your questions. we don't have a lot of time, so that me how the short questions, not make statements if you could. i'll go ahead with chris. introduce yourself, say who you are once you get the microphone. >> thanks. chris nelson, nelson report. wonderful questions. i believe to hear the love affair at "the new york times" is not diminished. not familiar times. it is so interesting that i hear guys operate a mature level, which is the very highest of levels. they say you know, the chinese get a better understanding of where we're coming from on this test. but then when it's all wrapped up for me than denser vouchers
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that were really worried about. jonathan mentioned that her brand of speech in melbourne but the senior chinese military academic. just as a layman minute to send the information, i don't hear -- nobody shows me any of it that the chinese are little more understanding what were talking about but the pivot and that the engagement containment and all that, that they are adopting a much more negative interpretation of why we do what were doing. >> ask your question. >> that's the question. what are you hearing at the senior bubbles that are coming down to us folks down in the weeds? why should we feel about domestic about it? >> i'll take the first shot. first of all, one to keep an eye on how much of the rhetoric that we've seen diminishes the party
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congress is behind us. i don't know the answer to that and i'm not going to make a prediction. but i think their system is not radically unlike ours in the sun when you have a leadership change coming out to the nationalist views tend to be the coin of the realm. so what you alluded to, chris, with the speech and rhetoric from the start in the chinese system now what the global times in different tv channels, more and more outlet. there are more and more actors who put their views out and they tend to be on the nationalist side. that is a guest of concern, but not surprising. a couple years ago we had some hope that this is reaffirming to
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empower people of different views to feel that they could safely publish their views without being inundated with 30,000 pages of e-mails. that is apparently not been the case. look, i'm not reading classified material. i'm reading the same thing you are. it's about access, but i don't use it, thank you. if you're talking to senior u.s. officials, i think you are hearing and interpretation from their conversations with chinese counterparts, which is somewhat more sanguine than what one hears from colonel day she were people like that. it would be nice if they said
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these things public way. maybe that the part congress says we'll see about. >> just a couple of points. jeff is absolutely correct that there is a private public discrepancy from what i understand in terms of the interactions that you officials have with counterparts, even on the milton of relationship, that it often has a different tone in that context. what was troubling to me in particular about the speech chris nelson and i both referred to as you talk about a senior leader of china's most prominent military institutions. you're not talking about a retired officer. are not talking about for the academic as such. this is someone who sits high up within a particular military organization and it was troubling. a lot of the edge may indeed
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reflect as jeff is also noted the kinds of things you have to sort of say and do in posture in a succession. but this is work that needs to be done if we are going to i'm the one hand get past a lot of tensions and suspicions and if are going to find a way to avoid what could be an absolute disaster and militarization of the u.s.-china relationship. i know those are start terms, but i could see missteps along the way to justify a much more intense competition in a way that frankly was served in either country's and ironically enough would stand in stark contrast to the obama administration to build the
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different u.s. presence in and around china. this china part of the story? sure. is china directed as such in an explicit way? out of the way i see characterizations in china's media, but it does indicate the u.s. response necessarily to observe changes in chinese behavior and assault to expectations many allies in part is in the region. nobody is spoiling for a fight, but that is the way things can happen. frankly my immediate concern with the incident or accident. i do worry most about tensions with japan. this is freighted with meaning that every possible level. it's much more consequential than what has not,, although troubled that those. will china be of a mind to keep
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a lid on these tensions coming to see whether or not there are ways you can backup the possibility of a confrontation. that's not what the u.s. to control, but something will have to be mindful of. >> chris, you asked whether you've seen are not seen. you're seeing sort of day unmitigated concern about what the u.s. is up to rather than a reflective approach. what we are saying this for a viciously anti-japanese rhetoric on the subject. but rather careful the valuations of the u.s. role on the subject is what we hear from using think tank people and what we see in the media. that creates its own problems frankly from a policy point of
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view because of the u.s.-japan relationship and the importance of being closely allied with japan on the life issues. the chinese rhetoric on the issue towards us has been far from extreme. >> i'm going to take three questions at a time. i don't know how many would get to. jonathan callas or witching hour? >> would have to be out of here by noon. >> i'm going to start with mike mcdevitt, john and eric. >> hi, mike mcdevitt. the question for chess and sean and allen if you had to chime in. based on dunnellon's comments the other day kind of the rebalance is now steady as you go for the future. within the context of and talking about maritime issues and what have you. what is your sense of pressure from friends and allies in the
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region about where's the beef? what were moving into the pacific or put it into the pacific were posture change is not very big in terms of capability, hugely escalatory. so would there be pressure from her friends to essentially bookmark capability in the region? but of course relates to the work report as i understand a call for china to develop as a maritime power and in fact you say xi jinping was in charge of the working group, said there was presumably -- those words may have been his and what relationship will that have chew pressure from her friends and allies to put more stuff in the pacific?
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>> talking about the south china sea or east china disputes as alan alluded to. a lot of people believe the chinese action in those two areas is not something that china actually initiated out of a grand plan, but rather a reaction to provocative acts by other countries like in the case of the philippines, resting, chasing in the case of the islands dispute if the nationalization of the islands by japan against repeated chinese warnings. so how do you resolve this? does china have to back off? can china back off? at the philippines and japan at least partly to blame?
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how would the united states act as a neutral, you know, peacekeeper? thank you very much. >> erik ammon to your left. if you keep your answers short look at at least one around. >> fort institute policy analysis. the last exercise i could remember we have the pla military was 2006 i think. are we hopeless on that count? to shoot out some confidence that way? kind of the atmosphere is not conducive now, but should we be trying to make it that way? >> okay, who wants to start? >> and reverse order, there was one recent u.s.-china exercise in the gulf of aden. very telling that that is of course where china has deployed 12 or 13 counter piracy deployments. i'm sorry?
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but my point very tellingly is far removed from the zones we are discussing here. it does indicate that some level more of a self called in and that some of the pla has bored from their experiences in the counter piracy operations but it's not necessarily so noxious to think about other forms of cooperation with the united states and what is argued late a very, very sensitive ongoing issue. on the blame game, this has been mishandled ale parties. it does seem to me that china's stance has been highly react to come on the ceiling is so you have to air on the side of doing more to demonstrate how serious you are. none of us are party to inner deliberations on this, but i think at some level this is
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still the belief that we, china that is to say have to be better organized, better prepared to respond, ask questions later, two things now and ask questions later, creating as i said before, not facts on the ground so much, the facts on the water that it really alter the dynamics. it may be while the chinese believe that i've heard some scholars assert this, that they feel this is now managed. i think alan alluded that they had the means at their disposal to complicate life for others that it will go from bad to worse. that would depend very much on whether or not we be able to avoid some kind of an incident, some time of an event would be very troubling.
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very good question. in so many respects, the challenge of china, may be a challenge for all state is how do we try to impart seriously what we think our behavior and intentions are and does anyone really believe you? if you take the case of china and japan, we don't want to do this, but it will be a whole of a lot worse about the things that happened and they may well be right. but that doesn't resonate with what is very much a domestic audience on these questions. i'm not talking so much about public pressures, but more how issues are deliberated within leaderships and judgments that they draw. the answer is going to be the proof will be in the pudding. as the fuller range of the goals of a rebalancing strategy are
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laid out, that is something that's going to really require chinese leaderships to ponder more than a bit because in essence the president president's trip right now is much more of a political and economic factors, not about military. you can still worse case as arguments and i've seen some already, but i don't find them very persuasive for other reasons jeff noted before but the article in "the new york times." >> a quick comment. making your question, with the defense budget, we'll see what the new government for five voices may not prevail. my own sense is that countries in the region look for is not so much physical evidence of new
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systems company capabilities sustainment. the u.s. is there to stay in the military sense. it's not necessary looking for spike to john, your question is a great question on the one hand. on the other and that's sure it matters. the chinese are moving down the field or because of the blunders of the others. that's the primary lesson. i don't know if they have a roadmap or blueprint, but i'm not sure it matters. they will find opportunities to do this and they claim to have changed the status quo. i room for some years ago they had a standoff, which was not very well publicized with the
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indonesians in an area where the chinese became very close to firing on some indonesian fishing vessels, but they did not change the status quo in that instance. they went back to where they were before. now we see a different kind of chinese behavior and i think that's what we should all expect in the future. this is highly problematic. the u.s. position on the south china sea as are not going to take a position on sovereignty, but we are going to take a position on coercion. if there's going to be coercion, that's going to affect u.s. posture from u.s. relations with countries in the region, u.s. reactions and reactions of others and it will affect how china's rise is perceived. do they still care about that? one hope so. we'll see. >> there're many people who might take issue with saving the
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union during the civil war. didn't blink and do not? well, yeah, he did. i won't say grant was the only person who saved the union, but he was the commanding general of the army that put lincoln's policies into effect. and he was a general who accepted the surrender of the army of northern virginia under robert bp that ended the war. so if anybody won the war on the battlefield, if you could say anyone person dead, and of course you can't, but one of the things we do in history as a generalized, we simplified because history, reality is simply too complicated to get our heads around if we deal with it in its full complexity. ..